Panfilovtsy (from панфиловцы, singular: панфиловец - panfilovetz, named after Soviet Major General Ivan Panfilov) were soldiers of the Soviet 316th Rifle Division (renamed to 8th Guard Rifle Division on November 18, 1941. Consequently, they were also named guardsmen - panfilovtsy - гвардейцы-панфиловцы) under the command of Panfilov.
According to the official Soviet military historiography, 28 Panfilovtsy led by politruk Vasiliy Klochkov withstood a four-hour battle on November 14, 1941 at Dubosekovo village near Volokolamsk highway, during which fifteen to eighteen German tanks were destroyed. According to Soviet accounts, almost all died in 28 Panfilovtsy, but they did not let the enemy pass. On July 21, 1942 all panfilovtsy were awarded the title of 'Heroes of the Soviet Union'.
Eventually, it turned out that at Dubosekovo about 100 Soviet soldiers fought and eventually were killed, captured, or retreated. The number of destroyed tanks is not exactly known either.
In reality the "28 Panfilovtsy" were likely the 2nd Battalion, 1075th Regiment, 316th Rifle Division (later renamed the 8th Guard Rifle Division). In the battalion were three companies (4th, 5th and 6th) each consisting of 120 to 140 men, and the entire battalion had at its disposal only four anti-tank guns.
The first attack on the battalion, by 10-12 German tanks, was repelled, and on that first day of battle, the entire regiment destroyed 5 or 6 German tanks. The second attack, by approximately 50 German tanks, routed the entire battalion and reduced the strength of the 4th company (which probably stood model for the myth of the "28 Panfilovtsy") to 25 men. During two days of combat the losses of the entire Soviet 1075 Regiment amounted to 400 killed, 100 wounded, and 600 missing in action. The regiment destroyed 15 German tanks (which later became 18 in the myth). The losses incurred caused the commander and commissar of the 1075th Regiment to be removed from command.
SPEECH AT CEREMONY CONFERRING HONORARY TITLE OF CITY OF MILITARY GLORY TO MAYORS OF VOLOKOLAMSK, BRYANSK, NALCHIK, VYBORG AND KALACH-ON-DON.SPEECH AT CEREMONY CONFERRING HONORARY TITLE OF CITY OF MILITARY GLORY TO MAYORS OF VOLOKOLAMSK, BRYANSK, NALCHIK, VYBORG AND KALACH-ON-DON.
May 04, 2010; MOSCOW, Russia -- The following information was released by the office of the President of Russia: PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY...
VOLOKOLAMSK COUNTY, MOSCOW REGION.DMITRY MEDVEDEV VISITED SCENES OF BATTLES THAT PLAYED A DECISIVE PART IN DEFENCE OF MOSCOW IN AUTUMN 1941.
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